The Final Round - Red Bull Hardline Practice

Sep 23, 2017
by Tristan Tinn  


Today in Wales it is the final round, a brave few return from the World Cup season to battle it out at the world's most difficult downhill race. This years lineup is packed with a whole host of UK talent, and some big names from overseas to boot. 2016 Winner Bernard Kerr is back from his mid season injury and isn't going to give up this title easily.

There were some rumours that ‘Hardline’ had become the no so Hardline. In the lead up to this year's event Dan Atherton had announced some alterations to the track, making mention of decreasing the difficulty and risk.

Well, I did find that rather hard to believe..

After witnessing the track first hand today and from discussion with the riders. I conclude that this event most certainly remains hard by name, hard by nature.

Damp conditions have notched up the difficulty, with typically Welsh weather. A mixture of sun and cloud throughout the day did little to dry up the waterlogged ground, following Friday night’s downpour. The track remains extremely slick. The slow rolling soft ground is adding extra challenge to big features.

This is Hardline.

The bikes take shelter from the brewing strorm
The bikes shelter from the brewing storm

The state of the car park is a sign of things to come
The state of the car park is a sign of things to come

Marshall briefing a shout out to the guys who make this thing possible
Marshall briefing, a shout out to the guys who make this thing possible!

Ready and waiting to battle the muck
Ready and waiting to battle the muck

Andy Lund gives Charlies Worlds bike a final check over
Andy Lund gives Charlies Worlds bike a final check over

Plenty of riders throwing the spike on for todays conditons
Plenty of riders throwing the spike on for todays conditons

Mudds Trek gets primed for battle
Mudds Trek gets primed for battle

Just a small feature then..
Just a small feature then..?

The brave few venture up the hill
The brave few venture up the hill

What came first Bernard and his landrover or the sign
What came first Bernard and his landrover or the sign?

Speak of the devil Bernard Kerr sends it for the course preview
Speak of the devil, Bernard Kerr sends it for the course preview

Kaos by name kaos by nature
Kaos by name kaos by nature

Riders discuss the renegade step up
Riders discuss the renegade step up

Sam Reynolds tames it with style
Sam Reynolds tames it with style

Charlie Hatton has had an incredible first season in Elite. He took a bad knock to the head today putting him out of practice for the rest of the day.
Charlie Hatton has had an incredible first season in Elite. He took a bad knock to the head today, putting him out of practice for the rest of the day.

Reigning champion and back from injury Bernard surveys his territory
Reigning champion and back from injury, Bernard surveys his territory

Laurie gets stuck in to a particularily slick section after the renegade step up
Laurie gets stuck in to a particularily slick section after the renegade step up

Bruce Klein with the battle scars
Bruce Klein with the battle scars

Rob Warner inspects a tech chute with a look of fear and disgust
Rob Warner inspects a tech chute with a look of fear and disgust

Sven snaps the Red Bull bangers
Sven snaps the Red Bull bangers

Dan Atherton inspects his brain child
Dan Atherton inspects his brain child

Dan Atherton grabs the bull by the horns and gets stuck in
Dan Atherton grabs the bull by the horns and gets stuck in

Dan sails off down the track with ease
Dan sails off down the track with ease

Phunkt soaks up some of the short lived rays
Phunkt soaks up some of the short lived rays

Kaos sends the dirty ferns step up with steeze
Kaos sends the dirty ferns step up with steeze

Brage Vestavik about to touch down in the UK
Brage Vestavik about to touch down in the UK

Craig Seven Evans chases down Hope teammate Adam Brayton through dirty ferns
Craig Seven Evans chases down Hope teammate Adam Brayton through dirty ferns

Bernard Kerr soars like a bird of prey he wont be giving up that title without a fight
Bernard Kerr soars like a bird of prey, he wont be giving up that title without a fight

Kerr pitches her in with ease
Kerr pitches her in with ease

Dan battles his way through the stumps one of the few riders getting the runs in today. Its clear to see he enjoys his handiwork
Dan battles his way through the stumps, one of the few riders getting the runs in today. Its clear to see he enjoys his handiwork!

Bruce Klein put himself out of saturdays equation with a rough slam into dirty ferns. We hope to see you fit and fighting tomorrow Bruce
Bruce Klein put himself out of saturdays equation with a rough slam into dirty ferns. We hope to see you fit and fighting tomorrow Bruce!

Laurie Greenland picks his way through the rock and roots with ease
Laurie Greenland picks his way through the rock and roots with ease

Oscar H rnstr m charges through the ferns
Oscar Harnstrom charges through the ferns

Mudd battles on with clogged tyres
Mudd battles on with clogged tyres

Mudd picks his way through no mans land
Mudd picks his way through no mans land

The Keswick Kestrel soars. Bones mend press send.
The Keswick Kestrel soars. Bones mend, press send.



MENTIONS: @redbullbike / @tris400d




66 Comments

  • + 117
 Park the jeeps at the jumps, use landrovers to drive the riders and bikes through the mud.
  • + 1
 Not sponsored by jeep this year so that's why they could use the landrovers
  • + 43
 Be interesting to see if a rider took a big knock to the head is allowed to ride/race today especially after reading Katie Curds story.
Organisers and riders make note please, rider safety should be paramount and decisions made with the help of the medics onsite.
  • + 11
 I hear that. Needs a proper assessment not just a 'sit down for a bit'. With events getting bigger, head injuries definitely need to be taken a lot more seriously like they are in other sports.
  • + 5
 I think its fair to assume they've got some professional guys behind them
  • + 2
 @abgs87: I took 'a knock to the head' at black mountains, turns out i'd got a compressed c2 vertebrae and a trapped nerve. Took a few sessions with my physio to sort it out, hopefully everyone is safe and gets down in one piece.
Oh and hopefully some good camera footage capturing most of the course? Unlike the world cups which just seem to be , start middle and end;
  • + 3
 @T1mb0: That may be but a concussion is a concussion. Not worth risking secondary impact syndrome by competing.
  • + 1
 @topherdagopher: No I absolutely agree;
  • + 2
 This!!, get a proper assessment.
  • + 1
 @topherdagopher: I was talking about professional guys behind them at the event.
I like to think the Athertons / red bull have got enough experience to keep themselves and all the other riders there well looked after... and with professionals to make the correct decisions about safety.
  • + 2
 I know at least two riders chose not to ride after hits to the head yesterday. Maybe riders are getting smarter. Really it's not only the NFL that's going to have a CTE issue
  • - 3
 Dan Atherton no neck brace ? You are a MUPPET
  • + 22
 They didn't park the Jeep under every jump this time? Maybe it couldn't make it up the hill...
  • + 18
 Defenders for the win in sticky Welsh mud
  • + 5
 Judging from the those and some other pictures, I don't think Jeep is the official sponsor of this event like last time.
  • + 13
 Several captions describe riders hitting sections with ease. I doubt that's how the riders themselves would put it. Apologies for talking about the track rather than 4WD vehicles.
  • + 14
 I bet Sam Hill would nail this course on his trail bike!
  • + 4
 I've been waiting for a year for this, I really hope the event is not ruined by the muddy conditions. I was riding not far from there on Friday and it was pretty rough. More rain fell since and its raining now.
  • + 7
 Conditions were bad yesterday,Dan mentioned it's the gnarliest it's ever been and the riders were struggling with a few sections.Klein came off in front of me,no idea how he got up unscathed,so glad he did though. It's hard,on the limit of what's possible in the conditions.Hope they all make it down safely!
  • + 8
 Where is yoann?
  • + 19
 yoann is in the kitchen !
  • + 5
 Pas d'entrainement pour Yoann.

Ils ouvrent juste sa camisole au moment de la course Big Grin
  • + 13
 The right question is: where is Josh Bryceland? I think everyone would love to see the Rat go down this track
  • + 4
 he is not racing. Smart choice if he was getting second thoughts.. stay in one piece..
  • + 2
 Only 10 riders have managed to complete a qualifying run.

Adam Brayton (GBR) - 2.27.63
Bernard Kerr (GBR) – 2.29.66
Alexandre Fayolle (FRA) – 2.30.64
Craig Evans (GBR) – 2.33.00
Dan Atherton (GBR) – 2.35.83
Taylor Vernon (GBR) – 2.40.62
Graeme Mudd (AUS) 2.40.71
Laurie Greenland (GBR) – 2.41.93
Al Bond (GBR) – 2.43.19
Kaos Seagrave (GBR) – 2.46.98
  • + 1
 @Arev: interesting times? i watched last years event yesterday and the times were in the mid 3 minutes. Wonder if they cut out some of the track?
  • + 1
 @Gurn10: it was dry last year though (or about as dry as it gets)
  • + 1
 @Gurn10: they didn’t start from the very top, too windy so they started above the Cannon today
  • + 1
 @Arev: actually 13 riders did a qualifying run.... but only 10 go through to the finals
  • + 3
 What is the attachment on the rear brake caliper on Mudds Trek is for? protecting a caliper? or, some dark magic?
  • + 3
 I'm so over the lack of real diesel vehicles in North America, Landcruisers, Defenders etc etc. That is all.
  • + 1
 Real vehicles period. I'd be willing to sacrifice diesel for more Delicas.
  • + 9
 Tacoma diesel please
  • + 1
 The Wrangler Diesel is coming next year.
  • + 1
 A ford raptor in the UK, in right hand drive, is almost $150,000 USD
  • + 0
 @jaame: and petrol so costs an that again to fill up
  • + 1
 they don't make the defender any more but planned replacement is in the works by jaguar ,I sometimes drive a long wheelbase one at work to pull machines ,its like a tank ,I like its mechanical feel but all the other lads hate it ,they are bloody juicy and hold there money and are ridiculously expensive.
  • + 3
 @Snoli: yeah but diesel is f*cked from what I've been reading. Impossible to make a diesel engine pass Euro six or seven emissions standard, apparently.

Electric would be good. Tons of torque off the bottom.
  • + 1
 @jaame: who cares, got my defender here, dont need a new one but would send it to twisted if had the cash..
  • + 1
 @bat-fastard: you don't need to worry then. Defenders will still be running in 2100.
  • + 1
 @jaame: Diesel isn't f*cked... its a far too complicated issue to be that black and white.
For example the agricultural industry (in the UK at least) has almost no regulation on diesel engines.
Thankfully we do have enough regulation so we don't get bonkers fashion trends of blowing black soot all over the place.

Too many industries rely on diesel power and electric will never be able to take up the slack, unless we have hundreds of nuclear reactors.
  • + 3
 @T1mb0: according to what I read, diesel passenger cars will not be able to be sold in ten years or so. It could be wrong though, I'm not an expert. I think the articles were saying the EU backed the wrong horse with diesel, because the particulate and NOx emissions are much higher than petrol engines produce. Diesel was helped along by the legislators focussing on carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide, and when they stop doing that, diesel will be up shit creek. It doesn't matter to me, I'm just repeating what I read.
  • + 2
 I'm thankful there aren't more diesels. I honestly think the average intelligence level or "I can what ever I like bro" attitude is too prevalent in NA. I've been blasted with toxic shit a number of times by Coal Rollers types while riding up to the trailhead. Even seen a group of 5 year olds walking inline on a school trip get sprayed by a diesel truck driving c*nt.
  • - 1
 @jclnv: Rolling coal bro, anyone want to sponsor me to get diesel brothers to drop a cummins into my defender Smile
  • + 1
 @jaame: that comes mostly from the non motoring media though
  • + 1
 @jaame: Possibly something to with Europe's trucking lobbies too. You don't want to piss those guys off.
  • + 3
 Huevos muy grande de todos
  • + 1
 Didn't see Gee as qualified: seems his roughluck with this course continues.
  • + 1
 final pic says a lot...look at all the tire marks on the top of landing. Going to be wild!
  • + 1
 You can tell it's a brutal course when most of the top riders have dirt on their shirts during practice. Insane.
  • + 1
 Great photos. Looking forward to watching it later.
  • + 1
 Thanks, enjoy the ‘live’ feed!
  • + 1
 where is gee?
  • + 1
 mmmh
  • + 0
 Red Bull Hardline GGOOOOOOOO !!!!!!
  • + 1
 Send it boys!
  • - 1
 If the jeep isn't in the contest Im not watching. bloody period.
  • + 24
 Is there such thing as a non bloody period?
  • + 2
 @metaam: As an amateur gynaecologist, I can tell you that there is.
  • + 1
 @BenPea: So as an amateur gynaecologist do you spend much time looking up old friends?
  • + 4
 @metaam: Nah i'm all about the future. And my patients are exclusively in 2D.
  • + 2
 @BenPea: Ah, so you do lots of video consultations.
  • + 1
 @metaam: Hey it's 2017. Teleworking makes sense for our planet.

Post a Comment



Copyright © 2000 - 2019. Pinkbike.com. All rights reserved.
dv56 0.094467
Mobile Version of Website